October has been an amazing month for nostalgic Washingtonians — and those who have pined for it through ’90s pop culture. In a move that mirrors the announcement of the imminent and long-awaited return of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, it would appear that the also beloved Sleater-Kinney will be returning in January with their first new album in 10 years, No Cities to Love. The show (set in Washington) and the band (formed in Olympia) both pointed at the fences (Lynch with his “I’ll see you in 25 years,” Sleater-Kinney through Carrie Brownstein’s reiterated insistence that the trio would play together again within five years of 2010). Both released comprehensive box sets this year before announcing their return, as if to whet the appetite and test the waters. Both set dates in the future for their return with some mysterious messages. And, both have resulted in legions of ravenous fans counting down the days til the return.
Any band returning after an extended absence has a large hill to climb in the hopes to reaching the power of their last album — considering how great The Woods was, that’s especially true for Sleater-Kinney). But, in preparation of a trip back to Twin Peaks, I started anew at the pilot, and my faith in Lynch and Mark Frost’s ability to match their past powers has redoubled. (And hey, season two wasn’t as bad as you might remember. Seriously.) Also, after yet another listen to Sleater-Kinney’s seven LPs, the collective excitement for the No Cities to Love is more than justified.
To put it all into perspective and get ready for that uncertain future, we sat down and hashed out a ranking of Sleater-Kinney’s catalog, from their angular jagged steps in the limelight to their roaring successes. So, whether you’re someone who knows the band as what the woman from Portlandia did before Portlandia or as the iconic indie punk powerhouse that’s been missing from the scene for eight years now, this list will get you ready for whatever Carrie Brownstein, Janet Weiss, and Corin Tucker deliver in 2015.